Tag Archives: teenagers

To Bra or Not to Bra: A #SoWrong Moment by Misty

SoWrong

Click on the eyeball to be directed to other writers who are participating in this series!

You guys, Misty is sharing her humiliating moment today, and it’s a doozie. For those of you unfamiliar with her, Misty is Mister-ious. {Did you see what I did there?} Like sometimes I wonder if her name is really Misty. You see, I’ve never seen Misty. I’ve only seen her sandals, the avatar she uses in association with her comments. Readers of her blog know Misty has kids and one helluva husband. She claims to be a lawyer. But there are no pictures of her. None. After reading this piece, I feel able to say with some degree of certainty that Misty has boobs. Follow my girl at Misty’s Laws. You can also follow her on Facebook.
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To Bra or Not To Bra

I’ve never been very fashionable.  This statement was never more apt than during my teenaged years.

Back in the early nineties, there was a trend in fashion of girls wearing these leotard like shirts that had snaps at the crotch, like a baby’s onesie.  I have no idea why these things were popular for grown people, but I owned a couple of them.  Some of them actually looked like shirts, until you got to those hanging flaps with the snaps at the bottom, but if you were wearing one with pants, sometimes it wasn’t obvious that it wasn’t a regular shirt.  I had one or two of those kind.  However, I also had a few of the other type . . . the stretchy ones that looked like a leotard.  And when you pulled those little flaps down to snap them below, it became even more . . . taut.

One night, when I was about 17, I was getting dressed to go out with a friend to a high school wrestling match, where I would also be hanging out with a guy I was “dating.”  (Those quotation marks are an entirely separate embarrassing story, thanks).  I had just bought one of those stretchy leotard type shirts, but had yet to wear it.  I figured this would be a good time to break it in.  It was a long sleeve, deep forest green shirt, made of a pretty thin material.  However, when I tried it on, I realized that it just didn’t really look right.  In an attempt to get a second opinion, I called upon my mom for her advice . . .

Me:  “Does this shirt look weird?  I mean, you can totally see the outline of my bra and the straps right through it.”

Mom:  “Yeah, it does look a bit odd.  What if you just don’t wear a bra?”

Me:  “Really?”

So, I took off the bra and we both viewed what it looked like without it.  Please note, that at the time I had 17-year-old boobs.  They pretty much stayed right where they were supposed to, as this was years prior to me birthing two wee tots  that would proceed to use them as their own personal udders.  They were perky at that point, is what I’m saying.

Mom:  “I think that looks better.  This way you can’t see the straps!”

Me:  “Ok, if you say so . . .”

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It was pretty much EXACTLY like this, but with less penis (and more boobs).

And yes, I actually left the house, with my mom’s blessing, nay at her beseeching, in a thin (practically sheer) top, sans protective boob covering.

Did I mention it was winter? So, it was cold outside. Not in my bedroom as I was getting dressed, but definitely outside. Pretty sure you can figure out what that means.

When I picked up my friend and “boyfriend,” I was wearing a coat, but when we arrived at the gym, I removed the coat. Did I mention it was chilly in the gym as well? Yeah. So that was when the problem became evident. Well, to everyone but me, I suppose.

Instead of realizing the wrongness of the situation, I instead just went about my business, all oblivious-like. You see, I was a teenaged girl.  And I was sitting on bleachers, watching a boring sporting event with another teenaged girl.  So, to pass the time, we engaged in a favorite activity of all teenaged girls everywhere over the history of all teenagedom . . . cattiness.

That’s right, we sat there being snarky about what the other people in the gym were wearing, and basically made fun of things that we thought weren’t “cool.”

After listening to us engage in this activity for a while, my “boyfriend” looked over at me and said this:

“How can you make fun of how other people look, when you are sitting there with your boobs hanging out for the world to see?”

Wait . . . what?

Well then. Wasn’t that just a punch in the gut. Really, it was like a smack upside my foolish head. So, instead of crawling under the bleachers to hide, I just went ahead and put my coat back on, and wore it for the remainder of the wrestling match.  Talk about a reality check.

After the match, I went to drop off my friend at her boyfriend’s house nearby.  He lived with a few other guys, and we all went inside to say hello and socialize for a bit.  However, I didn’t take off my coat. When one of the guys asked why I was sitting there all bundled up in my coat, my friend oh so helpfully told them why.  To which, their incredibly understanding and empathetic response was:

“Show us your tits, Misty!!”

I chose to decline their kind entreaty, and instead I slunk out of there, completely and utterly mortified.  And I have never not worn a bra out of the house again.  Some lessons I guess you have to learn through experience.

Thanks a lot, mom.

 tweet me @rasjacobson

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Dear Diary, I Hate You: A #SoWrong Moment by She’s a Maineiac

SoWrong

Click on the eyeball to be directed to other writers who are participating in this series!

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In seventh grade, Darla wore her heart on her sleeve.

In seventh grade, I wore my heart on my sleeve, also my boob.

Also on her boob.

Once deemed by a reader as a “humor-infused mommy blog that doesn’t suck”, She’s a Maineiac, is also low-calorie, lactose-tolerant and good for the ozone layer.

Don’t try to find Darla on Twitter. She doesn’t hang there. Darlakins resides in Maine with her kiddies and her husband. And the real fun happens on her blog. Visit her there and she might buy you a coffee. Or you could buy her a drink. She needs one. Right now.

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Dear Diary, I Hate You

I knew the moment our sixth grade science teacher made us lab partners, John was The One for me. It was the way he smirked and shrugged. The way his dark Rick Springfield hair spilled into his eyes. The way he wore his faded jean jacket with the collar flipped up and his scuffed white high-top Reeboks oh-so-recklessly untied.

Oh, yes, he would be my boyfriend. I couldn’t wait to rush home and kiss my Ricky Schroder poster farewell.

John kicked the empty chair next to me to the side and plunked himself down on top of the lab table. “Hey,” he smirked and shrugged at me. Immediately, he began gnawing on his pencil and glancing over at the girl he was rumored to admire, Gina.

Gina. Pfft. Gina who had perfect hair and perfect nails and a perfectly stupid hot pink comb jutting out her back pocket with the bold (and vastly overstated) claim: HOT STUFF!

I looked back over at John, the object of my affection, who was now grinning maniacally as he stabbed the sharp end of his pencil into the earthworm splayed open on the dissecting tray in front of him.

No matter. I still loved him. And one day he would be mine because I had other, more sinister plans: to write John ♥ Darla with sparkly rainbow-colored markers all over the cover of my Social Studies book. Destiny written in purple and surrounded by Garfield stickers. But first I had to tell my diary about this momentous occasion in my riveting 12 year old life.

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My crush continued. John and Gina became a couple. Still, I knew our life together would begin sometime during the upcoming Spring Dance when he would finally confess his undying love for me; probably after we grooved to “The Safety Dance” but definitely before the slow, let’s-get-all-sweaty-and-awkwardly-slump-over-each-other song “Open Arms”.

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But along with Tracy, a year later and John was acting weird. He was avoiding me at the lockers. He wasn’t looking me in the eye as he stabbed at yet another defenseless earthworm. No longer was he tipping my chair back, or shooting rubber bands at me, or pretending to not really like me. Our spark was gone.

And I was truly puzzled.

Maybe Gina had forever sunk her perfectly manicured hooks into him after all? It was probably that damned hot pink comb that did him in. All my comb said was, “SUPER!” I knew I should have bought the other one at K-Mart! My life was over. My diary entries were a flurry of lost hopes and dashed dreams.

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The only thing deep down in my soul I knew to be true? Genesis did suck.

Then came the fateful day when John asked me if I’d like to share a piece of chocolate with him at lunch. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken him up on his offer. Maybe I should have passed on the sloppy joes earlier. Maybe the fact that his best friend Brian was laughing out of the corner of his mouth when he offered it to me should have alarmed me.

But maybe, just maybe…he liked me after all?

“Sure!” I gushed, and popped the bitter square of dark chocolate in my mouth, eagerly gulping it down.

“Ha ha!” John yelled, pointing at me. “You just ate EX-LAX! SHE JUST ATE EX-LAX!” He turned and grinned at his friends. My heart stopped.

It was an honest mistake! I swear I'm not normally so stupid.

It was an honest mistake! I swear I’m not normally so stupid.

Tears spilled down my hot cheeks. Brian and John burst into a howling fit of laughter, almost falling off the cafeteria table. I turned and ran down the hallway, barely reaching the girls’ bathroom. Plunging my head into the sink, I tried to spit out the vile candy, but it was too late. My stomach lurched.

I flew into a stall and prepared for the worst. “Darla? Darla?” my best friend Amy’s voice echoed in the bathroom. “It wasn’t really Ex-Lax! They were joking!” she yelled. “I swear, it wasn’t! We all ate some! It’s not Ex-lax!” It took several more minutes before I was convinced to leave the safety of the stall. I barely got through gym period without crying, certain a poop avalanche was imminent.

After school, I threw myself onto my pink canopy bed to write in my tear-stained diary about how the man I loved had betrayed me.

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But where was it, my cherished diary? The only place I felt safe enough to reveal my ultra juicy secrets? I could have sworn I’d left it on my night stand right next to my Laura Ingalls doll…

I peered over the side of my bed and there it was on the floor. My diary–its tarnished lock open, exposing the pages of my innermost dreams for the entire world to see.

Someone had been reading about the Man of My Dreams all along.

Someone knew how much I pined for John’s Reeboks.

Someone knew all my secrets.

My heart flip-flopped as I realized the ultimate horror–someone had told him I had a crush on him!

My brothers.

They all knew. Specifically, the older one who was only two grades above me and knew exactly what to say to make John steer clear of me for good.

I learned many hard lessons that year:

  • Never fall for a guy who does nothing but smirk and shrug.
  • Never buy the Super! comb over the Hot Stuff! comb.
  • Never eat a piece of candy you didn’t buy yourself.
  • And never, ever put the key to your diary right next to your diary.

Did you keep a diary? Who and what did you write about? Did anyone ever use your diary against you? If you didn’t keep a diary, where did you put all your juicy tidbits?

Teenage Resistance To The Teachable Moment

Dr Brown's Cream Soda

Dr Brown’s Cream Soda (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

TechSupport was relaxing, drawing in his notebook to complete an assignment for his art class.

“Can I show you something?” my husband interjected. He used to be a pretty good artist back in the day. “I want to show you how to look at that can of soda and really see it.”

“I kind of just want to draw,” Tech said.

My husband pulled a chair over to the kitchen table where our son was sitting. “I just want to show you something,” he said. “Will you just look?”

Tech kept his eyes on his notebook. “I will.” His hands gripped his pencil tightly. “In a little while.”

I addressed my husband. “Not every moment has to be a teachable moment…”

My husband glared at me. “Don’t do that.” He held up one hand. “You’re always undermining me. I just want to show him something.”

Insulted, my husband pushed back from the table, scraped the chair’s legs against the hardwood floors, and he stormed off into another room.

Tech’s hand continued to move. He wasn’t really looking at his can of soda. He was just coloring.

“You know,” I said. “Instead of making a big stink, you could’ve just listened to what he wanted to say.”

Tech bit his lip and continued drawing.

After a while, Hubby reappeared. “Now can I show you something?”

I could feel how much my husband wanted to show our son what he knew. How he wanted our child to see the world differently. How he wanted him to see shadows and light. How he wanted him to see a different perspective.

Tech looked at me, then at his father. I could see he was biting the inside of his cheek.

I imagine he felt outnumbered.

There are always two of us, and only one of him. He tries so hard to please.

My husband started again. He showed our son how the eye can lie. How colors can be different, not uniform. How a brown can of soda isn’t really brown when you are drawing it. If you look, it is gray and maroon. Even orange in places.

“That’s all I wanted to show you,” my husband said with some degree of satisfaction.

After all, he got what he wanted.

“Thanks,” Tech said with a blend of gratitude and sarcasm in his voice.

My husband’s cell phone rang and he answered it.

And Tech continued to draw with his brown pencil.

Not gray, no maroon, no orange. He only used brown: a Good Son’s quiet act of defiance.

Tech’s completed drawing

What my husband didn’t know was that Tech and I had plans. We’d said that while he drew his picture of Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda, that I would write about the same topic.

I guess it didn’t go quite as planned.

Or maybe we all got it done in our own way.

Michel Foucault once wrote: “Where there is power there is also resistance.” Anyone experiencing any resistance lately?

When a Walk in the Park is Not a Walk in the Park

“A girl from school wrote that she was going to kill herself on Facebook.”

Up until then, the leaves under our feet made swishy, dry sounds. But I stopped moving.

I needed to sit down, but he didn’t want to so I had to keep walking.

“She said goodbye and everything. I didn’t find out about it until after it happened.”

I held my breath as we passed the trees that had turned gold.

Tinker Park. Henrietta, New York. Fall 2012

“Is she okay?” I asked, praying hard for this girl who was suddenly with us like the wind in the trees.

“Her friends contacted her mother or something. She’s in the hospital.”

“Do you know her?” I shoved my hands in my pockets.

“Not really. I found out from a friend.”

We stopped at the water’s edge and found each other’s eyes.

“I want you to promise me something.”

My son looked at me. He knew what I was going to say. But I said it anyway.

“If someone threatens to hurt themselves or someone else on Facebook or in a text or in real life, you have to promise me that you will take it seriously.”

“I will.”

“No matter where I am. You have to contact me. I’ll help you do whatever we need to do.”

My son tilted his chin. “Sometimes you can’t answer your phone.”

He had me there. Because when I am teaching, I can’t take calls. Or answer texts.

The wind blew cool air though my sweater.

“You know what I mean. You can leave me a message. I can check messages. If there is an emergency, I can always make time.”

My son nodded.

The sun was going down as we turned down the mossy path.

As my feet moved, I thought about the girl’s mother. How terrified she had to be.

I thought of a car accident that occurred just a few miles down the road: how a young driver had been speeding through a residential neighborhood and smashed into a bus. They could have all been killed, but they weren’t.

I thought of my son who has been quiet lately. How we don’t connect the way we used to. How I don’t know what he does for most of his day. How he is going on a trip to New York City on a school field-trip in a few weeks.

I won’t be there.

And what if he needs me?

“Mom,” Tech called. He’d stopped to inspect something on the ground. “Come check out this bug carcass.”

I looked at my son. I thought he was going to say thank you. Or run over and hug me. Or tell me how glad he was that we had talked. I thought a lot of things. But he didn’t do or say any of the things he used to do and say so readily.

“Let me take a picture of you,” he said, holding out his hand for the camera.

So I posed for him.

“You okay?” he asked, a line creased his forehead.

I told him that I was fine, but it was a lie.

Because 8th graders shouldn’t be thinking about killing themselves.

They shouldn’t be thinking about dying.

Back at the car, we noticed our shadows.

“My shadow is taller than yours,” my son smiled. “I’m catching up to you.”

I looked at the red and the yellow and the green around me. I looked at my son in his maroon hoodie which will soon be too small for him. A gust blew some leaves off the trees. They soared over our heads and then fell on the grass, quivering.

I know time is passing, but is it so wrong to want things to stay like this for a little while longer?

I’m not ready for winter.

When is the last time you slowed down, unplugged and took a walk with someone you care about? Do me a favor, call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Or write that person a letter. Do something to show someone you care about them today. What is one beautiful thing you can do to show someone they are important to you? Or (conversely), what do you wish someone would do or say to you today. Let me be that person.

tweet me @rasjacobson

How My Son Discovered The Opposite Sex

Around six weeks before school ended, Tech got glasses.

About two days later, he discovered girls.

I know this because at six weeks before the end of the academic year, I had printed out all the addresses and stuffed all the envelopes to be sent to everyone who was invited to attend his bar mitzvah.

“This is it,” I said, pointing to a 3-page list. “See that box over there?” I tilted my head towards a grey cube filled with envelopes. “Those are the people who are invited to your bar mitzvah. I’m taking them to the post office tomorrow, so you might want to take one more look. It’s your last chance to make any changes.”

I was thinking omissions. Cuts.

As in: That-kid-is-a-jerk-take-him-off-the-list.

Tech eyeballed the list and looked at me in horror.

“Where are all the girls?”

Had I handed him the wrong list? I peeked over his shoulder. No, it was definitely the same list we had reviewed two weeks before. The same list he had given his ultimate super-duper stamp of approval.

Tech’s voice went up two octaves. “None of my girl friends are on the list!”

Then he barfed out ten girls’ names I’d never heard before.

Ever.

“They have to be invited!” Tech waved his hands wildly. “Why aren’t they on the list?”

I wanted to tell him that he had never mentioned these girls, that the only girls he’d ever named in his life were the people connected to the families on the list.

But I didn’t.

We simply went through the school directory and gathered the extra names, addressed the additional envelopes, and affixed a few more stamps.

After we delivered the invitations to the post office, Tech and I sat in the car. His guard is often down in the car. I figured I’d give it a try. “That was a good snag on your part,” I smothered my son in compliments. “It’s weird that so many people weren’t on that last list. How do you think that happened?”

Tech had his nose in a book, so he spoke absently.

“I’m not sure.” He turned a page. “When I got glasses, a lot of blurry people suddenly came into focus. I guess I thought they were already on the list.”

He says he thought they were already on the list.

I say he had a testosterone surge with a side order of corrective eyewear.

Whatever.

In the end, nearly all of his friends – young men and young women alike — attended his bar mitzvah.

And he was beyond happy to celebrate with them.

How old were you when you noticed the opposite sex? And what do you remember about that time in your life?

Thanks For Reaming Me Out: A #LessonLearned by Ermine Cunningham

Ermigal with some of her former students

Odds and Ends from Ermigal is a fabulous blog. A recently retired English as a Second Language teacher, Ermine Cunningham’s favorite years were teaching students from all over the world. (See them up there?)

One of the things that I love best about Erm’s blog is that she writes about everything and anything under the bed. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Well, that’s what it’s like at Ermine’s. One minute we are talking about salsa lessons and the next thing we know, she admits “Herman Cain Made a Pass At Me, Too.

If you like a good surprise, you will love Ermigal.

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Click on the teacher lady's nose to see other writers who have posted about lessons learned as well as the schedule for who is coming up!

Dear Miss Brown: Thanks for Reaming Me Out

As a greenhorn seventh grader trying to maneuver my way around the unfamiliar world of Junior High School, I was introduced to the new concept of “Slam Books” in Miss Brown‘s homeroom one morning: a spiral notebook with names of kids written at the top that was passed around surreptitiously for anonymous comments — positive or negative — a prehistoric version of internet bullying or sucking up, take your pick.

Eagerly, I became the first taker on a brand new Slam Book in Miss Brown’s homeroom and tried to be clever and cool with my entries. My summer growth spurt made me taller than most of the boys in my class, and I’d been spotted wearing an undershirt in the locker room after gym, as my mother pooh-poohed wearing a bra until I “needed one”. Stationed at my vantage point on the fringes of acceptance, I took a stab at being popular; carefully dressed and wearing a bra I’d purchased at K-Mart, I wanted to fit in.

On the page with “Ginny Bloss” written at the top, I had written, “You’ve got to be kidding!”

I passed the book along and went to my locker before the bell rang to switch classes.

I was on my knees digging in my locker when my teacher faced me, her large green eyes blazing. “Did you write this?” she demanded, pointing to the page with Ginny’s name.

I remember this classmate as small and quiet in class–definitely not one of the “popular” kids. I’d figured out that some kids were cheerleaders or student council material, definitely the ones whose group I wanted to be in. Ginny was not anywhere near being a part of this select bunch; she even paid attention in Mr. Foster’s science class while a group of us fooled around and passed notes.

“Yes,” I whispered. My stomach churned with a feeling of impending doom.

Miss Brown proceeded to go up one side of me and down the other. I distinctly remember when she asked me furiously:

“Who do you think you are?”

That feeling of shame and regret, along with those words, have stuck with me. To this day, that moment in the hall influences how I view other people; on that long ago morning, I learned — in a most basic way — that we are all equal and worthy of respect.

It didn’t hurt that my parents reinforced this trait in me also, but Miss Brown brought it home in a way a thirteen year old could learn from if she chose to do so. My life has been, I hope, a reflection of what I learned that day.

Thanks, Miss Brown.

Have you ever had a “public shame” moment? What did you do? How was it handled? What did you learn?